Friday, July 31, 2009

Roasting & Losing

This week has gone pretty well. With the exception of yesterday I've felt great all week. I started TTOM on Wednesday & I guess I had delayed PMS because I felt horribly down yesterday. & I was an awful mother last night--tired, impatient, yelled at the kids when they wouldn't go to bed after I'd told them to three times. (My yelling made Sophie cry, and I had a delay in feeling bad about making her cry, which made things worse; it only took about 5 minutes for me to get my head on straight, then I felt just awful about it. Thank God she has a forgiving heart. But, yeah, I need to stop the yelling. Bad, bad, bad.)

Anyway, I've run twice & walked once this week. My walking friend has started jogging for 1 minute intervals during her walks, and she made the mistake of telling me this on our walk Wednesday night. We of course threw in a few running laps, which was freaking awesome! I told her she's in trouble--I'm going to have her running 5ks with me before she knows it.

Food has been spot on plan for week 1 of the Crack diet, which is the difficult carb deplete week. Once you get the hang of it, it truly is not that difficult. I was woosy on the 3rd day, when I ran 3 miles that afternoon, because, um, DUH, I had zero glycogen stores left in my muscles & I was trying to run in humid 80ish temps.

But I felt fine on day 4. And yesterday when I was in the pit of PMS despair and wanted to eat my way through the craziness of the kids and traffic and LIFE--I didn't. I just didn't. I went home and ate a turkey burger and roasted broccoli.

Which brings me to the title of today's post. I have discovered that roasted green veggies are without a doubt the best thing since sliced bread (which I can't have right now anyway, haha). I've been roasting my fresh green beans for a while, using olive oil & this spice I found in St John (I have to order more--I can't believe how amazing the Cruz Bay Grill Rub is--St John Spice). I know green beans aren't on the list of approved veggies for carb deplete week, but I looked up the carb content & they aren't any worse than broccoli.

And OH MY! Roasted broccoli is to die for. Diet Girl had posted a recipe for roasted broccoli ages ago, which I printed but never have made (I will be soon, very very soon). I made it last night with the Cruz Bay rub, and it was like candy. Seriously. Green veggie candy.

Please, no one tell me that roasting vegetables is bad for you. I don't think I can go back to microwaving again. BTW, I have a large toaster oven & that's where I'm roasting, not the big oven that takes forever to preheat & uses a ton of energy.

I think next I'm going to try roasted squash, zuch, & tomatoes (I have previously roasted grape tomatoes using a recipe from Roni, and they are amazing).

I know I'm late to this party, so tell me...what do you roast that you'll never microwave again?

Today is Mark's birthday, and I did not have even a teeny tiny crumb of his birthday cake this morning. And I won't have any pizza tonight either. I will have dinner with him tomorrow night, & that might be tricky. I'm just going to make the best choices I can & start week 2 on Sunday.

I hit 155.2 Wednesday, was 155.4 yesterday, and am 155.2 today. That's 4 pounds down since I started Sunday. I can wear a dress today that I couldn't when I was pushing 160, and it's not tight at all. So it's working.

I can't wait to get to 145. I felt absolutely amazing at 146 last October. I remind myself of that feeling when I struggle or have the don't wannas. It's only 10 more pounds to lose. I know I can get there.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Diet & Exercise

Hey! You know what? This is supposed to be a diet & exercise blog, not a "Woe is me my life is falling apart" blog. There's been a lot of that lately, & not enough diet & exercise chatter.

So how about some good news on the diet & exercise front for a change....

Sunday morning I had just HAD IT UP TO HERE with my binging, out of control self. I think the weekend before had been so traumatic, & the days following felt so amazing with their normality, that by this weekend I had so much energy that I was thrilled beyond thrilled (& I'm also aware that starting on wellbutrin provides a burst of energy, but I don't care where it came was a gift, I accepted it with gratitude).

I had been toying with the idea of going back to the Original Crack the Fat Loss Code plan, that both Helen & Vickie are following. I know it like the back of my hand, it's simple & straight forward (once you get the hang of it), & it works like nothing else. The 2nd version of the diet is, frankly, pretty complicated after week 2 & I just wasn't up for learning something new.

So Sunday morning I began a-Crack-a-lackin' again. I did great with food all day. I even ran 3 solid miles last night, in 34:44 (avg. around 11:30/mile). And those 3 miles felt amazingly strong after my past few runs where I cried half the time. I felt a little woozy a few times during the day from no carbs, but I just ate some protein & that went away.

I lost 2 pounds this morning. 157.2

Water weight has to be lost one way or another. I'll take quick water weight loss any day.

Today is going well so far on the food front. No reason to think I'll get off plan. We even have a dinner with prospects tonight, but I am ordering blackened salmon, asparagus, & the salad bar (will be very picky about what I put on my salad).

I'm feeling fairly stable emotionally, although I have felt anxious a few times the past couple days. 1/2 a xanax usually takes care of it though.

Better living through chemicals.... and no carbs for a week.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Better, but with work to do

The past two days have been remarkably better. I'm out of the darkness, and so far feel fairly stable. I haven't cycled back down & I'm definitely nowhere near topping out. I guess I'd say I feel normal and even right now.

It would be lovely if that feeling stuck around for a while.

I got the kids back last night & OH HOW I MISSED THEM. I missed them more than I did when I was in St John for over a week (of course, how do you miss anyone when you're in paradise? you don't, you're in paradise). My mom brought them to Sophie's swim lessons, and she was there 30 minutes before class started (which interrupted the time I thought I would have to run on the treadmill, but that was OK by me). It was bliss, holding them both.

After swim we went home, had dinner, and I put all their stuff away from their overnight at grandma's. Usually I let things pile up in the dining room & get to putting it away whenever. But I had gotten the house clean on Tuesday and I decided I'd try to stay ahead of the mess instead of getting behind it, which is what usually happens. It was nice to leave the house this morning with things picked up instead of in a shambles.

My food & exercise is still meh. I walked 2 miles with my girlfriend last night, as is usual on swim lesson nights. I ate well all day but before bed I had some (okay, 5) oreos. I love me some oreos. I know they shouldn't be in my house, but I'm not ready to let them go yet.

So I'm working on little things. Like getting to work at a normal hour (8 or 8:30 instead of 10 or 10:30). And keeping the dishwasher unloaded. And making our bed. And keeping my bathroom clean. And not letting laundry pile up (that's a never ending battle).

And maybe, just maybe, if I can get the normal things in life to go well, I can find the energy to once again make my body a little smaller. 159 on the scale isn't the end of the world, but it's about 7 pounds more than I'm comfortable with.

I'll get there. Soon.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Hello darkness, my old enemy

I had a difficult weekend.

The new antidepressant didn't work out for me, but I didn't realize I was suffering side affects until Monday. Friday I felt sad, more depressed than normal, but it was similar to my mid-cycle/PMS feelings, so I dismissed it as such.

Saturday was a low key day anyway, so my lying around reading pretty much all day wasn't a big deal. I actually managed to run/walk 5 miles, but they were the worst 5 miles of my life. I walked about half, crying a lot of the time because of the horrible thoughts going through my head (what's wrong with me? how do I live my life like this? why can't I be normal? my kids and husband deserve better than this. I'm just so useless when I'm like this. will it ever get better?). I truly thought I was losing it on those 5 miles. But I kept it to myself when I got home, telling Mark when he asked how my run was that it was just OK, not great.

Sunday I could barely make myself get out of bed. We were ushers at church so we had to go, but I stayed in bed until the very last minute & then I was very down and rather disconnected at church. That afternoon we had a cookout/pool party at Mark's cousin's house, so I was focused on the kids, but I had very little energy. And I drank three bottles of Mike's hard lemonade (an alcoholic non-beer drink), which is rare for me. I was starting to figure out something was wrong.

Monday morning I slept very late, had to take the kids to day care before I got ready for work so they were there on time. I got home after dropping them off & collapsed into bed. It just seemed too much to do my makeup and hair and get dressed. But I made myself, moving slowly & feeling like I was dragging my arms & legs through thick mud.

When I got to work, 2 hours later than usual, I told Mark something wasn't right with me. Then I started crying. Then I just felt numb. So numb that someone could have told me my mom had died & I'd have likely felt nothing. I was in trouble.

Mark told me to call my mom & have her pick up the kids and keep them for a few days. He wasn't in any position because of work and school obligations to care for them with me totally out of commission. Thank God for my mom. She picked them up & they were happy to see her & stay at her house. Thank God they didn't have to see me go through what I went through.

I've been very, very depressed a couple times in my life, with that moving-through-mud feeling oppressing my every movement. But it was before I had kids and it was before I was on antidepressants that worked.

I'd never felt that completely numb sensation--an emotional flattening, my psychiatrist called it. So I knew it wasn't me. It was the medication, pristiq, that brought on the darkness.

I went home Monday late afternoon and took a xanax, drank some Mike's, and went to bed. I woke up at 11 p.m. and took another xanax and went back to bed.

Thankfully the psychiatrist was able to see me Tuesday morning. I didn't take a pristiq when I woke up. I didn't shower, either, putting on a cap, shorts & a long t-shirt. No makeup. I brushed my teeth, but that was it. I didn't feel hopeless and numb anymore, though. 24 hours away from the pristiq did make a difference.

The doctor was surprised it only took two weeks for the pristiq to affect me the way it did, but she has seen this reaction before with some antidepressants. I asked about going off medication completely, and she thought that was a bad idea. Getting ahead of the depression is what we need to do, she said, not let it overwhelm me and then have a hard time getting me back.

We decided to go back on Wellbutrin 150 mg, and she is going to monitor my feelings/ups & downs, and add medication to stabilize my mood if needed. She knows SAD is an issue for me, & we are already talking about how we are going to treat that in October (I have a light--I just need to use it).

I felt so good after the appointment that I went home & did laundry, cleaned the kitchen, and vacuumed the floors. I haven't cleaned in weeks. I guess feeling normal felt so much better than how I'd been feeling the 4 days before, that it seemed like I'd been granted superhuman strength. I did make it to work that afternoon, and obviously my husband was tremendously relieved I wasn't going to be out of commission for days or weeks, which is what we were both afraid of.

Mom still has the kids. I get them back tonight. I miss them. I'm glad they have a safe haven to go when I'm off the rails.

Needless to say, I self medicated all weekend with food. I had no energy to "be good" and I gained back everything I'd lost the 2 weeks before.

So it's time to start again. Again. Hopefully I'm rid of the darkness now and I'll have energy to devote to getting healthy, both mentally and physically.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Thursday scoop

I had a gain this morning. & it was water weight (I couldn't get my rings off at all). But I still hate seeing a gain.

The past 3 days I've had restaurant food for lunch. Monday & Tuesday, out of laziness, I had Chick Fil A salads. They are relatively healthy as far as fast food choices go, but are loaded with sodium. I never lose weight when I eat one for lunch. And yesterday I went to lunch with a friend & had Mexican. It was a carb up day; I did not over indulge; & I ordered fajitas and not a greasy cheesy burrito or chimichanga (my faves). But it was enough that I gained almost a pound this morning.

I ran Tuesday for only 30 minutes, and I netted 2.5 miles because I had to walk a lot. It's crazy how fast you can lose endurance when you aren't putting in a lot of miles regularly, which I haven't since before vacation. It's like I'm starting all over with running again. Thankfully I have a half marathon to train for so I've got a goal to keep me running. Goals for me = motivation to hit the pavement. And I walked for 30 minutes with my friend yesterday, while our kids had swim lessons. She's not a runner, so we walk.

Life is going to get crazy(ier) again soon. Mark starts his 2nd summer class next week, & he'll be gone on Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday nights. He's got a big project due for his 1st summer class, in about a month. And of course he's still got to work & earn a living to support us.

I'm all about prayer right now, to help us keep it together without losing it.

The weekend will be busy. We will probably see our church group friends on Friday night. Saturday our group is serving dinner at the Rescue Mission (local men's homeless shelter)--we take the kids with us & they help us serve food & sing songs during the program. Sunday we have a pool party in the afternoon at Mark's cousin's house to celebrate his and another cousin's birthday's this month.

When will I ever find time to read Breaking Dawn? I've got about 300-400 pages left & haven't been able to read it for almost a week. I'm suffering withdrawals. At least the summer is flying by & November's New Moon will be here before I know it.

On the medication front, I'm not sleepy or spacey like I was on Sunday & Monday. I've been feeling kind of bleh, not really down but not up either. I'm wondering about a couple things though, whether they are bipolar symptoms. Last night I couldn't take the mess in my kitchen any more & cleaned like crazy. & this morning I couldn't keep a thought in my head--kept jumping from one random thing to another. I'm trying to pay more attention to things like that, and I don't know if I'm talking myself into thinking I'm bipolar (are my jumping thoughts the same as racing thoughts? I don't know) or if these things are normal and everyone goes through them. I'm writing it down & will ask the doctor when I see her in about 2 weeks.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I can't count

I've done many different diets over the past 20 years, and the majority of them failed. What I've learned from my successful diet ventures--LA Weight Loss and Crack the Fat Loss Code--is that, when it comes to losing weight, I can't count.

If I count calories, I fail. If I count Points, I fail. If I count molecules, I fail. (Okay so I've never counted cellular matter, but I didn't have a 3rd thing to count & these things have to come in threes).

But, if I have an exchange program where I know how much food & what kind of food I can eat, then it works for me. That was how LAWL's plan was structured--so many proteins, so many veggies, so many starches, and so on. And that's how the Crack plan works--breakfast is a protein/starch, lunch is a protein/fat/veggie, snacks are protein, dinner is protein/veggie.

What also works is eliminating (for the most part) refined carbs from my daily diet. My Diet Nemesis (a.k.a. night time cravings) is gone. I don't crave junk food when I'm stressed. I don't need something sweet after I finish a meal.

The power of destruction of simple sugars in the body is mind blowing. Get rid of the simple sugars, and life is much more stable.

Wanna know the results from my first week? As of today, I've lost 3.8 pounds (since last Monday). I weighed 155.4 this morning. My loss has slowed the past two days, and I'm not sure if it's because (a) that's normal because I lost a big amount in the first 6 days, (b) I'm not eating enough (I'm not--the new meds are killing my appetite), or (c) I'm not exercising enough (I'm not doing this either).

In case it's (b) or (c), I'm making changes. I ate a good breakfast this morning, which I haven't been doing. And I'm planning on running at least 3 miles this afternoon, which will be the first time I've run since Saturday (when I got in 3 miles).

On the medication front, I think Pristiq is helping, but it's hard to be sure. I had some funky side affects this weekend. I felt really spacey & I was really tired. I slept 9 hours Sunday night & Monday morning I woke up and still felt hung over. This morning is better. I'm not under a black cloud, so at least that's a positive feeling. But I'm not overly positive--no uphill roller coaster feelings right now.

Oh, & I signed up to run our city's half marathon on October 11th. Training starts today.

The plan is to stay the course and pray for everyone's health to continue to be stable so I can keep up a semblance of normality. Normal is always a good thing.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The plan is working!

Despite my lack of exercise this week, my weight is going down. I was 156.6 this morning. I will take it.

Helen, who is also doing the Crack diet, commented on my last post that it makes the night time snack desires go away. & I would second that. I guess because I'm not pouring carbs into my body during the day, it's not craving them at night when I stop feeding it.

It's rather magical, actually.

I will admit I caved & had a little square of Green & Black's chocolate yesterday. I have an emergency bar in my desk. It was one tiny inconsequential square, but you know what? About 30 minutes later I was craving more chocolate. Funny how that works. (& I didn't eat any more chocolate, by the way. I sort of learned my lesson with that one piece.)

So I'm giving the body the food it needs to burn some fat. Unfortunately, I still haven't made time to run or workout. Work is crazy busy & I'm not a morning workout person & up until today I had nothing left after taking care of the kids & working all day. Those are the excuses anyway.

Today I am finally starting to feel the fog lift from my brain. Whether it's the new medicine or simply the end of my hormonal swing, it doesn't matter. I feel better. That's what counts.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

The diet & the doc

So the diet has gone well so far. 2 days on plan, & I'm down to 157.8 this morning. Mark is staying tough, too. Today is a carb up day, which is nice because it's more lenient (but I'm not going nuts & having cookies or anything) but really the past two days haven't been that hard. Once I get that plan & make up my mind that THIS IS IT, it's a lot easier for me to stick to it.

The nighttime food cravings pretty much went away the first day. Weird, huh? Vickie wrote about how the body craves junk food when we are feeding it junk food. When we feed it good stuff, the junk food cravings go away (mostly...I'm under no illusion that I'm far from finished with this food fight).

I haven't exercised though. & I miss running terribly. Work is crazy, which is good & bad. And I've been pretty down for the past five days, which makes overcoming the excuses not to workout that much harder. I'll get in at least 30 minutes today while Sophie's at swim class, so at least there's that.

Yesterday's appointment with the psychiatrist went well. It was tough. I had to drag up a lot of crap from the past 15 years so she could understand why I've been on antidepressants. I talked about my post partum depression after Sophie's birth, and after I described it to her she said I actually had nearly had a post partum psychosis. Nice. That was a pleasant thing to learn.

The bottom line is--I'm on a new antidepressant called pristiq. She's not convinced that I don't have a form of bipolar disorder, because I do have some hypo-mania symptoms & the post partum symptoms are also signs of bipolar disorder. But truly, the hypo-mania symptoms and the extreme up & down moods have only been around since I've been on wellbutrin (I asked Mark to confirm that, & he agreed). She wants to treat the depression first & see if the bipolar symptoms go away or intensify on this medicine (which is an SNRI and not an SSRI like all the other meds I've taken).

Oh, & the first thing I did when I got back from the appointment was google pristiq & weight gain. It's a new drug (been out almost a year) but I don't see any horror stories of weight gain yet. And if you're going to gain weight on an antidepressant, it's gonna happen within the first few months, so I think I'm safe with this one. If anything, I might lose weight from it. Loss of appetite & weight loss are side effects (which is fine by me).

So I'll take the new medication for 3 weeks (I had been tapering off wellbutrin over the past month & my last dose was over a week ago) and go see her again, and we'll see what's next. I'm really glad I'm seeing her about this, & not just letting my GP handle it anymore. Kind of wish I'd been seeing a psychiatrist all along.

But, man, it's so much harder to sit in a psychiatrist's waiting room than in a family practice waiting room. It's like going to the gym-- sometimes the toughest part is just walking through the door. When you're done, though, you're glad you went.

Monday, July 06, 2009

It's Official

I'm back on a diet.

I haven't been able to get myself together enough to lose any weight. Without a bonafide plan, I'm all over the place and can't string together enough healthy meals (let alone days of success) in order to drop these extra pounds I've picked up over the last few months.

This morning I was 159.4, which frankly wasn't as bad as I'd expected. I drank a lot of tasty beverages over the 4th of July weekend. I ate a lot of red meat. I had ice cream a few times. I didn't run once.

159.4 was a gift.

And while I don't think I look hideous by any means, I have become uncomfortable with the extra fat. My capri's are tight. My belly roll is more roll-ey. I can't wear some of my work dresses because they are too tight.

So it's time.

I started version #2 of the Crack diet (Conquer the Fat Loss Code is the new book). And this will make it easier--Mark is doing it with me.

The plan is 8 weeks long. I think I can get 15 pounds off in 8 weeks. If not, I'll start it over until I do. 145 is the goal. I'd love to reach 140, but there's no reason to get all pie in the sky here. 146 was a skinny weight for me last year. 145 will be perfect. I won't have to buy any new clothes at 145. I'm not sure that's the case if I reach 140.

And I know I can run much faster at 145. That's another motivation, of course.

I'll be keeping it real here. You guys are my accountability people. Hold me accountable.

Oh, and tomorrow is my first psychiatrist appointment. I haven't taken wellbutrin for a week now. I've been on a down cycle since Thursday, so I'm not sure if that's a withdrawal effect or if it's my normal mid-cycle blahs (which is what it feels like). But I'm no longer going up & down on a daily basis, which is what was happening a month ago. I still feel broken, though. I hope the doctor can fix me.

Random Twilight chatter: Finished Eclipse yesterday afternoon & read Breaking Dawn until 1 a.m. No wonder people plow through these. I couldn't put them down. Yesterday I pretty much zoned out with Edward & Bella all day. I'm only 250ish pages in, and I wish I could finish it today. It will be this week, I'm sure. Too bad I've got to work and can't read for a living.

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Wednesday Brain Dump

I'm not feeling very coherent today, but it's been a while since I posted so I figured I ought to at least get an update out here.

On the weight front, I was 158.2 yesterday. I'm heading in the right direction, albeit slowly. I've not been very strict with my food & I only worked out twice last week, so I suppose I should be happy with the loss since vacation.

I finally got to run outside yesterday. The sun was hot, but the humidity was down & it was in the low 80s. It felt great to finally run on pavement again. I'd missed it terribly.

My free time lately has been taken up with the Twilight series. I read Twilight on vacation, then read New Moon last week (not the best book to read if you're already in vacation let-down mode... the middle section is quite depressing). I watched the movie on Monday, and again on Tuesday. I'm reading Eclipse now. I love this series. I don't want to finish the books too quickly, because I want the relationships with these characters to go on, but they are so hard to put down. So it's a catch 22. I did find the author's website has an unpublished manuscript from Edward's point of view, so at least I'll have that to read once I finish Breaking Dawn. & New Moon the movie comes out in November. Thankfully my circle of girlfriends are gaga over Edward, too, so we are all going together to the movie.

Our 4th of July weekend is already packed with plans. Hopefully the rain will stay away because our plans include 2 pool parties.

I'm planning another run this afternoon if the rain stays away. It should be even cooler today than yesterday.

On the mental health front, I've got an appointment to see a psychiatrist on July 7th. I've been weaning myself off of wellbutrin, & it's helping the mood swings get farther apart. I'm feeling down today, but yesterday I felt great. I can tell this is a downward cycle today. I'm so glad I'm getting help & pray we get the meds figured out before I go through another winter SAD season. I'm just ready to get off this roller coaster ride that's been my life since I was a teenager.

Sophie is doing great. We are so blessed. Whether it's the ADHD meds or the migraine meds, something is keeping her dizzy spells away. She's not had one since May 7th, and that one lasted only 4 days, and before that she'd had a long spell in mid March. I do not think it's a coincidence that she started straterra on March 14th, and since then she's had one spell that lasted 4 days. When I looked up medications that treat migraine, straterra was listed. She's really slimmed down this summer, too. I bought her size 14 shorts from Justice in March, and they are falling off of her. She can wear her 10s from last summer. She's getting taller & her legs are getting longer and I think she's thinning out from being more active.

Luke is a charmer. Still. Love that boy.

Mark is struggling lately. He's under a lot of stress, hasn't been able to work out since vacation. He can't find his groove. I'm praying for him & doing whatever I can to help, which isn't much. He's got a lot on his plate.

It's July. That means Christmas will be here next week. Seriously, when July 1st gets here, it's all down hill till the end of the year. Time flies so quickly in the summer and fall months.

Hope you all enjoy the fireworks on Saturday.